Emely Freja Petersen's Journey from Champion to Entrepreneur
- Champion's Corner: Interviews with Inspiring Sport Professionals
- By Sportiwork
- Published on November 7, 2023
Emely Freja Petersen isn't just a force to be reckoned with on the waves; she's an embodiment of passion and perseverance.
As a 2X Danish Kitesurf Champion and 2X Turkish Kitesurf Champion, Emely has carved her name in the realm of water sports with her daring feats and love for the ocean.
Beyond her athletic prowess, she is the entrepreneurial spirit behind OceanSoul, a company that marries the thrill of kitesurfing with the tranquility of yoga.
In this exclusive interview with Sportiwork.com, Emely shares her journey from discovering kitesurfing as a teenager to establishing a flourishing business that brings the water sports community together.
Q: What inspired you to start kitesurfing?
A: The first time I ever saw a kitesurfer was on a family holiday in Turkey when I was 16 years old. I was mesmerized and just instantly knew I wanted to do this sport. I begged my dad to join (and pay for) a kite course with me. Fortunately, we both loved it and started kitesurfing together.
Q: What are your favorite spots for kitesurfing?
A: My all-time favorite is Akyaka in Turkey. I actually moved here. It has everything - kitesurfing, nature, food, nightlife, and a life and community outside of kitesurfing. I also love Sal on Cape Verde for waves. Brazil and the Dominican Republic are also some of my favorite destinations.
Q: What are some of the challenges you faced as a professional kitesurfer?
A: You are on your own. You don’t have a team or a coach to help you navigate. You have to manage and research everything yourself and decide what is best for you, from training and nutrition to travel and competitions.
Q: What are some of the transferable skills you learned from kitesurfing that have helped you in your career as an entrepreneur?
A: You have to be super adjustable to all conditions as well as cultures. I think this is one of my strongest skills - being able to navigate in somewhat chaos and unexpected situations, with an understanding that how things work “at home” isn’t necessarily how they work elsewhere.
Q: Can you tell us more about OceanSoul? What kind of activities does it offer? Who is it for?
A: OceanSoul is my business and my baby. We offer kitesurfing holidays with yoga, Stand Up Paddle holidays with yoga, yoga retreats, and online yoga. Our focus is on professionalism, striving to give our guests the best experience possible. We have morning yoga, amazing breakfasts, all-day kitesurfing coaching, group dinners at the best restaurants, and exclusive local trips. Most of our trips take place in Turkey, but we also travel around the world.
Q: What inspired you to create OceanSoul?
A: The idea started when I began kitesurfing with my dad. We struggled to improve and find a community. I wanted to create a holiday for kitesurfers to get together, improve, learn new tricks, and form a community. I love seeing our guests stay in contact after our camps.
Q: How do you think yoga can benefit kitesurfers?
A: Initially, men are hesitant about yoga, but they soon become the most committed. Yoga prepares the body and mind for kitesurfing, serving as an excellent cool down and warm up. It stretches and strengthens the muscles used in kitesurfing. Personally, yoga helped me recover from serious injuries and maintain a strong connection and balance, which I believe keeps me injury-free.
Q: What are some of the things you are most proud of about OceanSoul?
A: I am proud of the community we've created and our high rate of returning customers. We're dedicated to professional service and continuous improvement. We deeply care for social sustainability, working with locals to boost business and help the younger generation improve their English, which opens up job opportunities.
Q: What are your goals for the future of OceanSoul?
A: We wish to continue sharing our love for yoga and water sports, welcoming more guests who wish to feel alive.
Q: What advice would you give to athletes looking to transition to a professional career after their sports career ends?
A: You are not limited to your sport. Think about what you enjoy doing and find a way to pursue it. It’s never too late to learn a new skill or take a new path. Identify your strengths and use them.
Emely's story is a testament to the transformative power of following one's passions and the positive impact of building a community around shared interests.
Her dedication to her craft and her business, OceanSoul, has not only led to personal success but has also fostered an environment where others can thrive.
👉 Go check https://www.oceansoul.dk to learn more!